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May12

Fair Hiring Practices

What liabilities would a small company face by not posting open positions internally and externally just after a layoff situation?

This question is really not specific enough for us to give a complete answer. Who was terminated? When? How many? What positions? Are those the same positions that are now being hired?

Any time an employer lays workers off, they need to be sensitive to the appearance of illegal discrimination and wrongful termination. Laid off workers are unhappy workers, and are quick to file lawsuits.

If the employer lays off a drillpress operator, and then hires a different drillpress operator a month later, that certainly has the appearance of a wrongful termination. It suggests that the employer was in fact committing illegal discrimination and the *lay offs* were actually an effort to get rid of employees due to their race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, etc. At least that is how any good lawyer will argue the case.

Anytime an employer is sued for discrimination or wrongful termination, it is very bad news. Attorneys fees can easily surpass $200,000 even if the employer wins the case.

There is less risk if the employer is laying off a drillpress operator and hiring a secretary, but it is still wise to post the openings both internally and externally to avoid problems. Every employee should keep detailed records of the objective reasons behind lay off and hiring decisions.  

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 12th, 2009 at 10:47 am and is filed under
Hiring and Staffing.
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